2023 Best of the Valley: Shopping

Editorial StaffJuly 6, 2023
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Find everything from handmade soy candles to a heavy metal florist in this top-shelf roundup of Valley products and practitioners.

Photo courtesy Twigs & Twine
Photo courtesy Twigs & Twine

Best Place to Find a Midcentury Modern Credenza
Twigs & Twine

Not only can you purchase authentic circa-1960s buffet tables, dressers and cabinets at this vintage store specializing in refurbished furniture, but owners Mike and Jill Roberts also build custom midcentury-inspired credenzas through their sister company, Draftwood Design.

3335 N. 24th St., Phoenix, 602-625-5527, twigsandtwine.com

Best Refinished Furniture
Say Yes to the Dresser

If Granny’s Hepplewhite chair needs some 21st-century TLC, try this very narrow nook cluttered with revived cabinets, bed frames, sofa tables and nightstands. The craftspeople in charge will restore it for you or teach you to do it yourself in one of their classes.

701 W. Deer Valley Rd., Phoenix, 602-339-7793, facebook.com/sayyestothedresser

Best Vintage Shopping for Middle-Aged Homeowners
Sweet Salvage

This monthly vintage home furnishings sale in the Melrose District is best if you have a large house (or better, houses) to outfit, because you’re gonna fill it the first time you visit – with sofas, dining sets, lighting and outdoor furniture, all done in a stylish but vaguely traditional way that hits the early-40s to late-50s set right in the solar plexus. And they’ll do it again next month, too, so start saving up.

4648 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix, 602-279-2996, sweetsalvage.net

Best IRL Etsy Scroll
Phoenix Flea

Instead of swiping through virtual shops, stroll this decade-old market at Heritage Square ($5 admission) to browse stylish, curated wares from more than 125 small-business vendors. The goods aren’t dusty yard-sale oddities, either. You’ll stumble across a ceramic roller skate statue, vintage National Park Service tees, maybe even a lightbulb-studded cactus or two.

113 N. Sixth St., Phoenix, facebook.com/phoenixflea

Best Sports Fashion 
Sportswear meets streetwear with this new e-commerce shop, a partnership between the Arizona Coyotes and the online retailer Fanatics. Find throwback jerseys and modern takes on retro hockey designs, along with special-edition slide sandals and collectible figurines. The ’Yotes also tapped global fashion designer Rhuigi Villaseñor (Rhude) to design the Desert Collection, a high-fashion take on sports apparel.


Photo courtesy Arizona Coyotes
Photo courtesy Arizona Coyotes

Best Hiking Apparel 
Keep Nature Wild
Look cute on and off the trails with this Mesa company’s hiking gear and gewgaws, from “I’d Hike That” T-shirts and saguaro baseball hats to “Keep Nature Wild” fanny packs and clean-up kits. The last one is a powerful symbol for the brand – for every apparel and accessory product sold, the company picks up one pound of trash via nationwide community cleanups.


Photo courtesy Keep Nature Wild
Photo courtesy Keep Nature Wild

Best Goth Couture
Pink House Boutique
You might not imagine goth couture at a place with “pink” in the name. But in addition to all the Hello Kitty tchotchkes and other precious bohemian and retro fashion accessories your shopping bag can hold, you can also be the only one at Sunday services with a coffin-shaped handbag.

7009 N. 58th Ave., Glendale, 623-298-4766, pinkhouseboutique.com

Best Upscale Thrift Store
Kiwanis Marketplace Thrift Store
It’s said that luxury automobiles and Dolce & Gabbana couture have sold here for pennies on the dollar. Even if these tales are apocryphal, where else can you find leather chairs for under $200 or nearly new wide-screen TVs for under $40? There’s a year-round Christmas room, too.

6535 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, 480-488-8400, kiwanismarketplace.org

Best Manic Pixie Dream Girl Couture
Rolling Rack Boutique
Attire and accessories from T-shirts and tote bags to socks and jewelry to candles and lotions are adorned in graphics to help you build your quirky, zany and maybe slightly naughty image. Why wait to deploy your snarky and adorable one-liners? Save time by wearing them.

Four Valley locations, shoprollingrack.com

Rolling Rack Boutique, Photo courtesy Susie Diamond
Rolling Rack Boutique, Photo courtesy Susie Diamond

Best statement-piece Shopping
Rare Earth Gallery
Sure, that Mick Jagger oil painting is nice and all, but if you really want to hit houseguests with a statement piece that confounds and delights their optic nerve, how about a 9-foot panel of patterned onyx mined in the mountains of Mexico? Owner-curator Wayne Helfand is like an elite chef, scouring the globe to find select geological cuts for his Cave Creek crystal showroom and jewelry story. Even if you don’t buy anything, it makes for first-rate perusal.

6401 E Cave Creek Rd, Cave Creek, 480-575-4360, rareearthgallerycc.com

Best Place to Find the Unexpected
Hawk Salvage
Looking for antique medical equipment? A pile of old black and white photos? A vintage library cabinet? Those are a few of the less unusual offerings in this constantly rotating collection of oddities and things you never knew you needed. The owner also hosts occasional art shows.

1109 Grand Ave., Phoenix, 602-790-8365, hawksalvage.com

Hawk Salvage. Photo by Mirelle Inglefield.
Hawk Salvage. Photo by Mirelle Inglefield.

Best Flea Market
Thieves Market
Paris, Amsterdam, Pasadena – we’ve traveled the globe looking for vintage treasures. No more. Put your travel money toward a piece of jadeite, a Tom and Jerry punchbowl set or one of the other delightfully offbeat items at Thieves, held the first Saturday of the month (except during hot months) at Paradise Valley Community College.


Best Gathering Spot for Armchair Detectives
The Poisoned Pen Bookstore
Like moths to a flame, avid readers of noir, horror, mystery, suspense and true-crime genres flock to this longtime Scottsdale bookshop, especially during the store’s no-charge live events, where bestselling authors and up-and-coming writers talk scary stories, read chapter excerpts and sign autographs.

4014 N. Goldwater Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-947-2974, poisonedpen.com

Best Place to Pick Up a Magazine from 1910
Book Gallery
Sure, this local institution carries a pile of antiquarian hardcovers and shelves filled with signed copies of last year’s biggest mystery thrillers. But anyone scouting out the October 1910 edition of McCall’s (with a feature on “Selecting the Winter Hat” and Mary Jane McClure’s “Leftover Meats Made Appetizing”) will find it – and many other ancient periodicals – right here.

3643 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, 602-468-0400, bookgallery.com

Best Record Shopping in a Bookstore
Half Price Books
Gotta love the surprise factor: Sandwiched between Fascinations and Eyeglass World, Half Price’s Paradise Valley location boasts a surprisingly strong record game. You’ll find vinyl in pristine condition, an eclectic mix of genres, hard-to-find albums and zero competition from other collectors since this place is frequented mostly by folks selling used copies of Lee Child paperbacks.

4322 E. Cactus Rd., Phoenix, 602-482-4100, hpb.com

Best Place to Buy Toys for a Toddler
Wildlings Toy Boutique
Who says playtime can’t be educational? No one at Wildlings, where heirloom-quality toys curated by local educators are the name of the mind-building game. Stacks of developmentally appropriate toys aimed at sharpening Baby’s motor skills share space here with building sets and smarts-themed soft things.

6031 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 602-283-4260, wildlingstoys.com

Photo by Lindsey McOien/Courtesy Wildlings Toy Boutique
Photo by Lindsey McOien/Courtesy Wildlings Toy Boutique

Best Place to Shop for Handcrafted Gifts
Practical Art
If you’re in the market for a unique, handmade gift, stop by Practical Art, a gallery space and retail shop in Midtown Phoenix curated by owner Lisa Olson. Peruse the work of more than 100 Arizona artists, including pottery, original artwork, dishware, candles and jewelry. You won’t leave empty-handed.

5070 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-264-1414, practical-art.com

Best Macabre Gifts
Monster Market
From Texas Chainsaw Massacre jackets to Norman Bates fridge magnets to objets made of animal bones, this monthly open-air market outside Thunderbird Lounge features art and accessories and fashion – and comic books and toys and retro curios – for those of spooky sensibilities. It’s a bazaar of the bizarre.

710 W. Montecito Ave., Phoenix, 602-283-4621, monstermarketphx.com

Best Trip Around the Globe in One Store 
Tierra Del Lagarto 
Mother-daughter owners Linda and Meg Van Lith curate their “world market” from their own global travels, so you’ll find tagines and rose water bottles from Morocco next to temple bells and offering boxes from Indonesia and kilim pillows and suzani tassels from Turkey. Everything is sourced responsibly and respectfully, so you can purchase treasures with a clear conscience.

15330 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale, 480-609-1289, tierradellagarto.com

Best Soy Candles
After detoxing her house of store-bought candles, commercial detergents and chemical-packed air fresheners, Jacqueline Centrella started her own non-toxic candle company in 2019. Handcrafted in her Phoenix home, Centrella’s candles use soy wax free of phthalates and dyes. Her candles’ scents have an emphatically local bent – find fragrances like Sedona Sunset, Sunshine & Citrus and Arizona Cactus Flower at Valley retailers like 85 Local and Air Guitar.


Photo courtesy Centrella
Photo courtesy Centrella

Best Southwestern Jewelry
Desert Dust
Inspired by the beguiling mysticism and boundless magic of the Southwest, Phoenix native Allison Dendulk handpicks every piece of turquoise, Mexican fire opal, cherry quartz and picture jasper she uses to create her dainty yet distinct designs. Each of the self-taught silversmith’s rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and occasional bolo ties is a work of wearable art – and an homage to the special place in which they’re produced.


Best Way to Help Others While Helping Yourself
Giving Bracelets
That nice thing you’re wearing around your wrist can change the world – so long as you buy it from this charity-minded Scottsdale boutique. Proceeds from the sale of each wrap bracelet of brushed silver and leather or rose-gold honeycomb go to local foster-care group Voices for CASA Children and to Project Hawaii, which helps the homeless there.

7122 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-947-0802, givingbracelets.com

Best Bodega 
Monsoon Market 
Go to Monsoon Market for the rad selection of natural wine, stay for the buzzy snacks (TBH hazelnut-cocoa spread, Momofuku noodles), hip pantry staples (Graza olive oil), vintage home goods, quirky greeting cards and even new and used vinyl. More millennial catnip: Its website is designed to look like a MySpace page.

3508 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, 602-612-2046, monsoonmrkt.com

Best Skincare 
Plant-powered skincare gets a desert twist with this line from Phoenix esthetician Victoria Bridgford, who understands the need for moisture in this climate. Bridgford’s radiance facial oil (available in grapefruit and tea tree, lavender and mandarin, or palmarosa and bergamot scents) and elderflower and avocado facial moisturizer deliver hydration without heaviness.


Best Sustainable Home Goods Store 
Desert Refillery 
Attempting a zero-waste lifestyle is a challenge in this single-use society. Desert Refillery makes it easier with “eco-friendly refillables” of household goods ranging from cleaning products to toiletries. You just bring your clean containers and refill ’em. The shop also stocks waste-reducing items like reusable lint rollers, compostable sponges and biodegradable bandages.

5016 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-492-6587, desertrefillery.com